1. Home
  2. life
  3. news
  4. JetBlue is cutting 20 routes and abandoning 5 cities as it scrambles to slash costs amid its failed Spirit merger — see the list

JetBlue is cutting 20 routes and abandoning 5 cities as it scrambles to slash costs amid its failed Spirit merger see the list

Taylor Rains   

JetBlue is cutting 20 routes and abandoning 5 cities as it scrambles to slash costs amid its failed Spirit merger — see the list
  • JetBlue Airways is cutting 20 routes this summer across the US and Latin America.
  • This will result in the airline exiting five cities altogether.

JetBlue Airways is taking an ax to its network as it works to cut costs and improve on-time performance.

In an internal memo sent to employees Wednesday and shared with Business Insider, JetBlue's vice president of network planning and airline partnerships, Dave Jehn, said the airline would leave five cities, effective June 13. He listed an additional 16 route cuts.

The changes will allow a shuffling of aircraft to serve better-performing routes from JetBlue's focus cities, as well as increase its planes' time on the ground to reduce the chance for delays, he said.

The five market exits are:

  • Bogotá, Colombia.

  • Quito, Ecuador.

  • Lima, Peru.

  • Kansas City, Missouri.

  • Newburgh, New York, which JetBlue suspended service to during the pandemic and has decided not to return to.

The airline currently flies to Bogotá, Lima, and Quito from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and serves Kansas City from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, according to the aviation-data provider Cirium.

"These markets are unprofitable, and our aircraft time can be better utilized elsewhere," Jehn wrote in the memo.

Among the 16 extra cuts, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale are the most affected, according to the memo. Both are losing eight routes.

The losses in Fort Lauderdale, however, will be made up for with additional frequencies to "top-performing" destinations in the Northeast and across the Caribbean, like Buffalo, New York; San Juan, Puerto Rico; Cancún, Mexico; Montego Bay, Jamaica; and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Jehn said.

Meanwhile, he said that instead of operating underperforming shorter flights that hop around the West Coast, the airline's focus in the "very crowded" Los Angeles market would shift to cross-country and Mint routes.

According to Jehn, the reduction in LA is mostly due to JetBlue's failed $3.8 billion merger with the low-cost giant Spirit Airlines. A judge ruled in January the move would hurt customers because of decreased competition.

"Without Spirit, and without aircraft time and gates available to grow organically, we need to refocus," Jehn wrote in the memo.

The failure to combine with Spirit is not the only reason JetBlue has found itself in this position.

A partnership between JetBlue and American Airlines in July 2020, which the two dubbed the Northeast Alliance, ended last year. Similar antitrust laws that derailed the Spirit merger led to the alliance's demise.

"We were counting on the merger with Spirit and the NEA to help us be relevant and support growth," Jehn wrote, adding that changes in demand in certain markets since the pandemic started also hurt performance.

Another factor plaguing the airline is the issues with the Pratt & Whitney GTF engines equipped on seven of the airline's nearly all-Airbus fleet, which has caused a shortage of planes. That number is expected to affect up to 15 A320neos by the end of this year, Reuters reported.

Moreover, JetBlue, which just appointed a new CEO, Joanna Geraghty, in February, has historically poor punctuality, which has negatively influenced its operational costs and brand reputation.

JetBlue ranked last for on-time performance in 2023, according to data from The Wall Street Journal.

Here's the list of 20 route cuts customers can expect this summer, according to JetBlue:

  • Between Fort Lauderdale and Bogotá, Lima, Quito, Atlanta, Austin, Nashville, New Orleans, and Salt Lake City.

  • Between Los Angeles and Cancún; Las Vegas; Miami; Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; Reno, Nevada; San Francisco; Seattle; and Liberia, Costa Rica.

  • Between New York's JFK and Detroit.

  • Between Orlando and Salt Lake City.

  • Between Tampa, Florida, and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

  • Between Kansas City and JFK.

Popular Right Now